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Poster: William Tell Date: Jul 26, 2012 5:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

Reading the 83 book "music never stopped" & have been struck by repeated comments about how hard it was to "do" the early era jams, post pig dance #'s anyhoo, such as The Eleven...love the Jerry quote: "It's frickin hard work to do what the dead do! We practice all the time!!".

And, Bob admitting it was difficult--literally too hard--putting to rest the notion that it was freeform, flowing with spontaneity, and so on...I know It's been covered before, but the strong inference is they wanted it to be easier. And, thus, as they aged, they dropped those complete tunes requiring a lot of practice & by implication, talent/skill/etc, eh?

Seriously, if you haven't read it, it confirms "early is best" perspective far better than I could have dreamed, with direct quotes practically screaming "we sucked after Mickey left, and Bob has less talent than Pig but looks nicer"...

Anyone else read it lately?

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jul 27, 2012 7:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

It seems to me they would go in cycles of adding harder stuff, then simplifying .
Think of the songs, or jams they added in the 73-75 period, only to drop them later. They played Franklin's Tower more than they did the full suite, . Seemed it was always a struggle . An unfair, but somewhat true quote form anti-Dead Dylan critic, Clinton Hyland about the band, " With the ambition of the John Coltrane Quartet, and the musical ability of The 1910 Fruitgum Company"( I would have liked to hear Weir to sing "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy") . Or as Phil said, " Lame, but noble" .

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Jul 26, 2012 8:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

"they dropped those complete tunes requiring a lot of practice & by implication, talent/skill/etc"

No - the implication here is that they were too lazy or too stoned. The talent and skill was still hard-wired and hard-won.

And disagree - Bob had loads more talent than Pig, just lacked the charisma or whatever it was some people think Pig had. (Pigpen vocals don't do much for me.) Tons of great music without Mickey too.

Still glad you did a Dead post, and I will never capitalize cream.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jul 27, 2012 3:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: SYFace SUCKED...direct vote of ALL DEAD members, JOTS...so don't write in

Trust I was quoting Blair JAckson...but, finished the book and it could've been written by ME! He does end up giving Bob some props, but clearly he wasn't a Bob Lover, FWIW. Have you read it? A defn early era is better bias, but of course, it ends in 82...

JOTS--he recounts how EVERYONE hated Steal your MOney!

He quotes all band members at length about how this tragic event unfolded, but it was amazing how painstakingly well documented the production of that debacle was...ie, why it had to be their worst album ever, blah, blah, blah. Also quite aware of general views of public at large, in Bay Area anyhoo...

Again, these are direct quotes, NOT me...

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Jul 27, 2012 4:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: SYFace SUCKED...direct vote of ALL DEAD members

Somehow missed this book... I read Phil's, McNally's, and David Gans' books. I'm not denying it might play into your wheelhouse. We can safely agree that "early is better", it's just your definition of "early" where we fall out.

Other opinions stated above were strictly my own, as is this one: I think they got tired of some the early tunes. Some of Bob's material is quite complex also - you might say WRS replaced the St.St/Eleven suite... IMHO, when cocaine and heroine replaced the pot and LSD, things started going downhill.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jul 28, 2012 11:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: SYFace SUCKED...direct vote of ALL DEAD members

Yup; defn agree about the transition to those drugs correlating.

Ya know, uj, one thing I do find intriguing in all this "jam band critique" biz I find myself exposed to these days (via my CREAM interest), is this tension (?) vis-a-vis complex vs simple, one chord vs 10, etc., etc.

So, eg, we have EClaption being absolutely devastated by those music mag critics suggesting he plays simplistic blues cliches, and just extends it monotonically in jams, and these don't compare with complex chord progressions of the prog rock efforts in the early 70s, while Jerry and the rest don't get ANY credit for the complexity of the 11, eh?

I mean, the myth is the DEAD just noodled along, and perhaps in DS of the 70s, this is more true, but not for the live DEAD suites, IMHO.

You can't make anyone happy, can ya?

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Jul 28, 2012 12:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: SYFace SUCKED...

I might be interested in reading some of that "jam band critique" biz... Do they still have it in for bands like Furthur, Phish, GD, etc? I was unaware EC was devastated by critiques, he seems to have gone his merry way now for decades. I enjoy many of his efforts, and his talent has bought him a well-deserved reputation as one of the greats of all times.

So back to complexity: We agree the GD don't get credit for complexity. The Eleven is possibly my favorite GD piece (along with Eyes), a crown jewel... but that's partially due to its setting, nestled in a complex suite. The Other One began as another piece of a combination, and it took them some time to really find the groove with that. The "noodling" critics have a demonstrable point, but haven't listened to the catalog like we have. There are numerous instances when the jamming should have been abbreviated, is going nowhere, and the band just keeps going, and going. Lots of PITB and TOO 's from the 80s are big offenders. If you can't make a miracle in 10 minutes, will another 15 minutes make it better?

On the other hand, I think JG and the GD could take a simple piece, albeit short, and play it so beautifully with all kinds of complexity. Think of how deadly El Paso would be without that lyrical Garcia lead intertwined around it, Phil's intricate bass runs in Bertha, neat rhythm playing from Weir on Big River. Many of the early cowboy songs are just wonderfully, tightly executed - examples like Next Time, Mama Tried, BIODTL, Big Rvier really showcase what the band was built for. As for Dark Star - I give 'em a pass on that, it was intentionally exploratory, and a failure if not pushed to boundaries. But the Dead don't get credit for playing well, and we know they were more than capable of it.

Screw the critics. Their criticism is valid to a point, and like some "jam" band music, just so much flagellation.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jul 28, 2012 2:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: SYFace SUCKED...

Oh, sorry, uh; was thinking it was you and me that chatted about those critics a couple months back...LiA and some others posted a few, so you could find them here, OR just google "review + wheels of fire" or some combo to find what I am speaking of for EC. I also got a bit of from the movies, so if you have NetFlix, you can find at least two of those CREAM movies there, I believe ("classic" bands is one of them...).

Anyhoo, EC admits to reading the one and literally breaking down, actually collapsing (said he fainted) in 68 when finding the one on WofFire in RStone!? I really felt sorry for the guy...it happened out in public, with friends at dinner or some such, and thus, folks around him knew he'd been deeply impacted. It confirmed his desire to shift gears from CREAM related efforts.

I always thought of the 11 as THE jam for the DEAD; I used some of the verses in my HS graduation "comments" in the early 70s (they let us provide a quote).

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Jul 26, 2012 6:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

more demanding, perhaps, but better? not necessarily

the early suites required precision and practice, St. Stephen is not a tune that is effectively played "off the cuff" the jams were either hot or sloppy...

in later Dead, the "work" was in finding inspiration in the set lists and in the improvisational jamming and musically realizing the vision...

Terrapin Station was probably the last song that was "difficult" with sections and parts, etc.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jul 26, 2012 8:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

Yea, good pt; same thing I'd say about the prog rock critics of CREAM that were always on about how simple CREAM tunes were, & how complex theirs were (& thus, better).

I don't know anything bout BlJack, but was expecting a "pro-mid 70s" theme...maybe its's coming.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Jul 27, 2012 8:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

"Bob has less talent than Pig but looks nicer"...

How ridiculous! 1) Bob and Pig = apples and oranges, it's just a silly comparison. They were never trying to do the same thing. 2) Even if we rank our oranges separately from our apples, definitely not everyone agrees Pig was better. For me, a little Pig goes a long way. Talented certainly, but pretty much had just one shtick. Bob = far more versatile, capable of much greater subtlety, a far wider range of contributions to the band's output = adds up to Bob probably more musically talented than Pig overall. Did Bob succeed at everything he tried? No. But then, he tried quite a few more things than Pig ever did, and he also persevered, learned and adapted and grew, rather than going down in flames. 3) But musically, it's a pointless comparison because we can't know how Pig would have developed if he had lived, whereas we thankfully have several decades of Bob. 4) Ok yes, Bob looks better for sure.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Jul 27, 2012 9:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

+1

addendum: I think we got the full flower on Pig, that's all she wrote.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Jul 28, 2012 5:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

Well I suspect you might be right. But we'll never know. I think it's most likely that Pig would not have been central to what the Grateful Dead were and became the way that Bob did, even if Pig had lived. Pig did one thing. Bob does a lot of things, some better than others.

To each his own, but I think if he were alive now, I probably would not be excited to go hear Pig do Lovelight the way I am excited to go hear Bob (even if I cover my ears during Dear Prudence).

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jul 28, 2012 10:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

I guess my only pt in quoting all this drivel was 1) Mr Jackson agrees with me on many points, and 2) most members of the band have at various times said things that more or less support my view on which are the best studio albums (WMD/AB), which is the WORST album ever made (SYF), playing songs like the 11 were hard and req'd a GREAT deal of practice (thus, not just playing free form jams a la the myth), Bob was not able to contribute as much in the late 60s to these jam based efforts of complex sorts (and neither was Pig), blah, blah, blah.

I didn't mean to start a Bob-bashing revival--or pre-emptive defense? Har, har...

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Jul 28, 2012 7:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

"support my view on which are the best studio albums (WMD/AB"

Does anyone dispute that??!?!

"didn't mean to start a Bob-bashing revival"

Doesn't take much to start one of those.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 27, 2012 10:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

BUT, for the love of Pig, those 80's lovelights were just sad.... (not to mention the good lovin's). Then again, could Pig have kept a straight fact thru Throwin' Stones? And NO WAY He could have rocked the lavender polo and short shorts..

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jul 26, 2012 6:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

" it confirms "early is best" perspective far better than I could have dreamed"

How many times have you typed those words? I was tempted to google the phrase to see how many of your old posts would pop up.

I think my favorite was when you did your cost analysis on dead commercial releases.

Bob definitely looked better than Pig, i suspect he smelled better too. That's gotta count for something.

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Jul 26, 2012 8:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

what about Pig in short shorts???

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jul 26, 2012 8:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-CREAM, DEAD related...

Ha--yeah, I realized it's gone on so long that quotes fr this Blair book have probably been posted here supporting my thesis, I've incorporated them, forgotten, taken for my own, iteration, ...you get the idea...it really struck me--he must have really thought as I do. Has it out for Bob it seems too, but only half way thru.

Point being, does your sample size get to increase for ea datum you encounter if you've no memory of it?